Personal Protection Orders (PPOs) in Singapore
If you believe that your or a family member have been or is likely to be the victim of family violence, you may wish to seek a protection order from the court to restrain the person against whom the order is made from using family violence against you or the family member.
A Personal Protection Order (“PPO”) is a court order available under Part VII of the Women’s Charter (Cap 353). PPOs, along with the supplementary Expedited Orders (“EO”) and Domestic Exclusion Orders (“DEO”) is meant to function as statutory methods for protecting families from domestic violence.
Eligibility for PPOs, EOs and DEOs
PPOs, EOs and DEOs are available to all Singapore Citizens, persons in Singapore, and all persons domiciled in Singapore, including members of Muslim families in Singapore.
If family violence has been committed or is likely to be committed against a family member, the following people can make an application for a protection order under section 65 of the Women’s Charter:
– the family member against whom the family violence has been or is likely to be committed if he/she is above 21 years old and is not an incapacitated person;
– the guardian, relative or person responsible for the care of the family member against whom the family violence has been or is likely to be committed if he/she is below 21 years old or is an incapacitated person; and
– any individual, even below 21 years old, if that individual is or has been married if the family member against whom the family violence has been or is likely to be committed is;
o the individual;
o the individual’s child, who is below 21 years old; or
o a relative of the individual who is below 21 years old and whom the individual is responsible for the care of.
What is needed for a PPO be granted?
A PPO will only be granted after a trial unless the person against whom the PPO was made consents to the grant of the PPO.
To be granted a PPO, the court must be persuaded that it is more likely than not that:
– An act of family violence has been committed, or is likely to be committed, against a family member; and
– A PPO is necessary for the protection of that family member.
What is “family violence”?
Under section 64 of the Women’s Charter, family violence, in the context of applying for a PPO, means any of the following acts:
– wilfully or knowingly placing, or attempting to place, a family member in fear of hurt;
– causing hurt to a family member by such act which is known or ought to have been known would result in hurt;
– wrongfully confining or restraining a family member against his will; or
– causing continual harassment with intent to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause anguish to a family member.
However, any force lawfully used in self-defence, or to correct a child below 21 years of age, would not be considered family violence.
To prove that an act of family violence has been committed or is likely to be committed, evidence in the form of medical or police reports can be useful.
Who is considered a “family member”?
Under section 64 of the Women’s Charter, a family member, in relation to a person, in the context of applying for a PPO, means any of the following people:
– a spouse or former spouse of the person;
– a child of the person, including any, adopted or stepchildren;
– the father or mother of the person;
– the father-in-law or mother-in-law of the person;
– the brother or sister of the person; or
– any other relative of the person or an incapacitated person whom in the option of the court should, in the circumstances, in either case, be regarded as a member of the family of the person.
What use is a PPO to me?
Under section 65(5) of the Women’s Charter, a granted PPO will provide for such orders as the court thinks fit, having all the circumstances of the case, including:
– granting the protected person the right of exclusive occupation of the shared residence or a part of the shared residence by excluding the person against whom the order was made from said residence or part of the residence;
– referring the person against whom the order was made, or the protected person, or both, or their children to attend counselling; and
– giving any such direction as is necessary for and incidental to the proper carrying into effect of any order made under section 65 of the Women’s Charter.
What if there is imminent danger of family violence?
If, upon an application for a PPO, the court is satisfied that there is an imminent danger of family violence being committed against the person applying for the PPO, the court may make an EO, even if summons have not been served on the person who the PPO was made against, or has not been served on that person within a reasonable time, or if the summons requires the respondent to appear at some time or place.
However, the EO will only have effect from the date on which the notice of the making of the order is served on the person against whom the order was made, or a later date if the court specifies as such.
The EO will also cease to have an effect either:
– 28 days after the making of the EO; or
– on the date of commencement of the hearing of the application of the PPO.
However, the court may extend the duration of the EO.
Where to apply for a PPO
You may apply for a PPO at the Family Court, or at any of the following places to make a complaint through a video-link facility:
Blk 211, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, 01-1446, Singapore 560211
Tel: 6555 0390
Tel: 6449 9088
Care Corner Project StART
Blk 7A Commonwealth Avenue, #01-672, Singapore 141007
Tel 6476 1482
How We Can Help
Our lawyers at I.R.B. Law fight for a sense of justice and believe you should be entitled to your rights to live freely. Domestic violence is a serious issue, and we will fight for you in Court. Should you need to be legally represented at your hearing, please feel free to contact our team of lawyers. I.R.B. Law LLP is a law firm that seeks to fulfil its mission of fully understanding your case and taking the time to explain every step of your legal journey. We do not want to prolong your situation, and we hope to expeditiously resolve your predicaments.
We strive to take care of our clients no matter the case. Your first consultation with us is usually always free, and we would be pleased to hear from you and be of service. Please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] or call us at 6589 8913.
The information contained in this article is provided for general information only and may not reflect current status in relation to applicable law, cases, settlements or judgements. Nothing contained on this website or article is intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be construed as I.R.B Law LLP agreeing to provide legal services to you. You acknowledge and agree that your use of this website shall not create a lawyer-client relationship with I.R.B Law LLP.